John and Tina are a couple who shifted into our neighborhood a couple of months back. They own a 1994 Royal Enfield 350cc Std. It is a bit of a botched job and hearing it going up the mountain, I wondered how it is still working. But like a champion, it does not give up. My garage is right next door to their house and I see John start her up, which it does, and ride off to go about his day with a big smile on his face. One day, I did approach him and suggested a good clean up for his bike and that I thought his engine needed work. It took a good few weeks of me convincing him, but in the end my perseverance was rewarded. John agreed to let me look inside the engine to see what we can fix and how much it would cost. Royal Enfields can be expensive to repair and especially one that has seen better days. This one was sold to him for 35,000 Rs and has been to the ever present Ustads around town. I did not have much hope for it and Happy and I opened it up to check.
We found a clutch assembly someone had thrown a grenade in, and the metal fatigue was extensive on the body. The wiring had been patched so many times that there was no point in suggesting a repair. The piston was on its last legs but the crank, thankfully, was intact with no damage whatsoever.
We upended our garage trying to find retro parts to make this bike as good as new. We borrowed a lot of the body parts from our other projects but spared no expense on the engine and electricals. The change from a barely mobile motorcycle to a thumper was the goal. Two weeks later with a fresh paint job and full makeover, Baby Dragon was on the road. I am sure John and Tina will enjoy many more rides to come and most important, be safe!